Labor has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to supporting Australians living with diabetes, and now – on World Diabetes Day - it has become clear that they have put their foot fully on the brakes.
Senate Estimates revealed that the Minister for Health, Mark Butler has advised his department to ban further consideration of access to Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CMG) devices for Australians living with type 2 diabetes.
This means that he has specifically blocked any further progress in improving the lives of the approximately 1 in 20 Australians who live with this condition.
We know from the public submissions to the current Inquiry into Diabetes that patients need equitable access to CGM devices to make it easier to manage their condition and improve their lives.
Minister Butler’s decision to block MSAC applications for CGM devices against the will of the community is reckless and perplexing.
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, increasing at a faster rate than other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
The Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Senator Anne Ruston questioned the timing of this decision, as millions of Australians living with diabetes face significant cost of living pressures and it is becoming more and more difficult to access essential healthcare.
‘It is outrageous that the Albanese Government is refusing to even consider how they could improve access to life-changing technologies for the diabetes community, especially amongst these pressures.
‘First, Minister Butler drove patients into a stressful period of complete uncertainty with his Fiasp fiasco, and only acted after considerable pressure from the Coalition and the sector.
‘Now, this Government is purposely falling behind the world in their support for the diabetes community,’ Shadow Minister Ruston said.
The Coalition has a proud record of improving access to key diabetes medications and products for Australians living with diabetes, including through our commitment to expand access to CGM devices for all people with type 1 diabetes at the last election.
Today on World Diabetes Day, the Albanese Government must urgently explain why they have put a block on considering further access to life-changing technologies for Australians living with diabetes, and when this block will be removed.